When I will publish your email address

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In a recent post, commenters criticized me for publishing the email address and phone of a person who tried to bully me by email. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” one wrote. In general, it’s poor form to publish someone’s contact information. Automated processes can harvest those and spam people with emails and calls. Angry … Continued

How not to improve your company’s Net Promoter Score

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HBR published an article called “How to Improve Your Company’s Net Promoter Score.” What a misguided goal! About the quest to improve NPS A little background here. Bain fellow Fred Reichheld invented Net Promoter Score (NPS) decades ago. In NPS, you ask your customers, “How likely is it that you would recommend this product or … Continued

Sleazy marketing destroys your own brand

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When you descend into unethical and annoying marketing tactics, your desperation shows. You destroy your reputation in pursuit of questionable gains. And it’s permanent. Today, I’ll share two marketing messages that are object lessons in how marketing can backfire. Each was an automated message directed at me in a personal communications channel, but in this … Continued

The 5-step fast edit

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You have a piece to edit and limited time to work on it — and the piece is a mess. How can you fix it quickly? While every author has their own idiosyncrasies, some problems are common, easily fixed, and make a dramatic difference in readability. Here are the five quick steps to make writing … Continued

Should a patient portal be an ad-free space? Should anything?

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I was surprised to get a promotional message in my doctor’s patient portal, mislabelled as “New Information in Your Chart.” It made me think about marketing, what it is, and where it belongs. Here’s how it looked: I like my doctor and I like my doctor’s practice, which I think is doing excellent work. I’m … Continued

Is this Crown Sterling press release from another planet?

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There are press releases. Then there are out of body experiences. Cryptography firm Crown Sterling announced a new product called Time AI. It leaves ordinary buzzwords like “seamless” and “omnichannel” in the dust, reaching instead for a heady mix of mathematics, quantum computing, mysticism, and privacy handwringing. Let’s take a look. Commentary is mine. Crown … Continued

The Zoom earnings call and the future of video communication

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Zoom used its own video product to conduct its first post-IPO earnings call earlier in June. This is the future of communication. As a former analyst, I can tell you what earnings calls used to be. There was a press release. Then there was a conference call, or possibly a Webinar. In any case, everything … Continued

Hey, C by GE, if the light bulbs are smart does that make us stupid?

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GE has a line of smart home products including light bulbs. “From enjoying the perfect mood lighting with the push of a button to complete hands-free control, C by GE makes your life simpler and smarter.” You could buy a pair of the bulbs for $24.95 and turn out the lights with Amazon Alexa — … Continued